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a503: Haitian police use tear gas against food rioters (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

     PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Police used tear gas and
fired bullets into the air on Sunday to disperse hundreds of people from an
impoverished area of Haiti's capital who stormed a warehouse holding
imported rice and trucks used to distribute it, eyewitnesses said.
     Rioters from Port-au-Prince's Cite Soleil district charged trucks
carrying rice imported to the Caribbean nation by the Pou Nou Tout (For Us
All) cooperative, an entity affiliated with the Lavalas Family political
party of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, eyewitnesses said.
     There were no reports of arrests or injuries.
     The incident was the latest concerning the importation of foreign rice
-- an attempt to "reduce the cost of living for the population," according
to Lavalas spokesman Jonas Petit, but one that has brought charges of
corruption and cronyism.
     Local farmers have complained that the imported rice, sold on the open
market at a cost far below that of locally produced rice, has hurt them
financially. Private Radio Metropole reported last week that many Haitian
senators had been allowed access to the rice to distribute in their home